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September 29, 2023

Iceland to Implement New Tourism Tax

Authorities in Iceland are planning to charge tourists who reach the country with a tax, Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir has confirmed, stressing that the tax will not be high.

The new changes come as part of efforts to support climate as well as sustainability goals, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

Tourism has really grown exponentially in Iceland in the last decade and that obviously is not just creating effects on the climate.

Jakobsdóttir

His comments came in a television interview on Bloomberg, attending the United Nations Climate Ambition Summit 2023 in New York City.

In spite of the fact that it was highly affected by COVID-19 situation, Iceland welcomed more than 8.5 million visitors in 2022.

Besides, the figures from Statistics Iceland revealed that in June 2023 alone a total of 1,176,600 overnight stays were registered in Iceland, thus accounting for 17 per cent increase from June 2022, during which period 1,012,300 overnight stays were registered.

Not providing detailed information regarding the exact cost, Iceland’s PM stressed that the tariff would not be high and it would be implemented as city taxes for those staying in Iceland.

We have announced that we are putting increased taxes on tourism in Iceland. Not high taxes to begin with, but we are talking about city taxes, etcetera, for people who stay in Iceland.

Jakobsdóttir

She said that companies in the country’s tourism industry are using renewable energy, stressing that the change is coming but it is a challenge.

Last year, Reykjavík’s leaders said that the country plans to promote travel by encouraging slow tourism. Therefore, the country plans to encourage fewer people to take longer trips and cool mass tourism trends.

Back then the official travel website of Iceland, Visit Iceland, recommended visitors in the country to choose sustainable means of transport in order to compensate for their unavoidable emissions. The same called on all people to calculate their carbon footprint and to agree to be responsible visitors.

In addition to encouraging sustainable tourism, authorities in this country unfolded plans to reduce carbon emission by 55 per cent by 2030, expressing hopes to reach carbon neutrality no later than 2040.

Tourism taxes have also been introduced by authorities in Venice, Italy, in their fight against mass tourism and climate change.

Authorities in Venice unfolded a decision to introduce a €5 fee for international visitors. Confirming the new changes, the Mayor of Venice, Luigi Brugnaro, stressed that the new changes would become effective starting from spring 2024.